No Blame in the Catchment Detox Game

If you imagine you could do a better job managing waterways than the powers that be, now you can put your theories to the test, with no one to blame for bad decisions but yourself!

Catchment Detox is an easy-to-play but tough-to-master online simulation game from Australia. You’re in charge of successfully managing a river catchment while creating a sustainable, healthy economy. In 100 turns, you decide how and where to plant crops, when and where to log forests, where and when to build factories or set up national parks. Not so easy, because to do well you’ve got to make money, provide adequate water, skirt environmental problems and still provide food and economic support for the citizenry!

Keep your eye on the impact stats to compare the economic and environmental pros and cons of your decisions.

Some activities bring in more money, but use a lot of water. Others environmental benefits, but not much income. You can add or remove as many activities as you like (until you run out of money and/or turns!)

Good thing I’m not making any such decisions…here’s a screen capture of my game on Turn 20…water status “terrible” and almost broke! And logging those forests would be quick money in the bank….hmmmmm.

Lost in the Plastic Forest

The recent Figment 2009 event, held June 12-14 at Governors Island in New York, is described as “a FREE, annual celebration of participatory art and culture where everything is possible.”

One possiblity realized was “Watershed” an eco-installation from MSLK that ties together, literally, the many senseless aspects of bottled water consumption in the West. From the Figment 2009 website,

“Watershed” is a man-made forest of 1,500 plastic water bottles collected from the New York City area, which serves as a visual representation of one second of U.S. consumption. Out of the 50 billion bottles of water consumed each year, 80% of these bottles are currently not being recycled. Bottled water is 1,900 times more expensive than tap water, and the toxins emitted by it have been linked to serious health problems, such as reproductive issues and cancers. “Watershed” was created with the hope that viewers will shed the notion that they need to buy water in plastic bottles. If we are looking to better the environment, water is a great place to start, since we have the best quality water coming out of our taps.

Photos by Katie Killary on Flickr

If you’re wondering who threaded and hung all those bottles, MSLK’s website features a prequel to the main event with a video that documents the nuts and bolts of building “Watershed.”   

Watershed Assembly at MSLK 5/24/09 from MSLK on Vimeo.